MANILA – The Philippines aims to stimulate foreign investments and complementary economic recovery as it presents business opportunities at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2020.   

Major Philippine companies, investment promotion agencies, and government offices will represent the country from September 8 to 10 at Xiamen, China.  

The Philippines enters CIFIT 2020 as the Guest Country of Honor. Its “Partner Philippines” campaign signifies the country’s willingness and capacity to complement China’s economic growth and global expansion. The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Guangzhou, leads the campaign and the Philippine delegation to CIFIT 2020. 

The country aims to leverage its good trade relations with China, strong economic fundamentals, and projected V-shaped recovery by 2021 to attract more Chinese investors to do business in the Philippines.  

Part of the Philippines’ strengthened commitment to Chinese investments is the development of industrial parks hosting Chinese projects, such as the 500-hectare industrial park in New Clark City (NCC)—proposed by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. More industrial parks and economic zones in key regions of the Philippines are also underway. These projects present expansion opportunities for Chinese businesses, as well as employment opportunities for a young and upbeat Filipino workforce. 

The country can also host Chinese manufacturing investments that are seeking refuge from tariff barriers erected by China’s trade partners, assuring businesses interested to invest here, a continuous manufacturing supply chain.  

New investment incentive regimes are also being developed by the Philippine government to allow granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for high-value strategic investments, including a longer time period for enjoying income tax holidays and subsidies for key cost items.  

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is moving to ease restrictions and remove prohibitions found in the foreign investment negative list on foreign businesses interested in expanding in the Philippines.  

The Philippines positions itself as a strategic partner for growth with solid economic fundamentals. Its status as one of the top emerging economies globally is driven by structural, economic, and financial government reforms, the most notable being the “Build, Build, Build” Program which accelerated economic growth by 6% in 2019. Other factors include a large, university-educated workforce; competitive wage rates and stable manufacturing costs; and improved ease of doing business in the country.  

Furthermore, Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund forecast the Philippine economy to rebound by as much as 6.2 to 6.8 percent respectively by 2021. 

By investing in the Philippines, Chinese businesses will have the opportunity to tap into the demands of the Philippine domestic market of around 110M people. The Philippines and China may explore complementation in the following key sectors: export-oriented manufacturing; import-substituting (or domestic demand-driven products); medical products supplies, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices; petrochemicals; infrastructures; tech-start-up; export of services; and agriculture and food production.  

China (including Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR) ranked as the Philippines’ top trading partner, the top export market, and the top import source in 2019, with total bilateral trade valued at RMB340.2B (US$48.6B).  The Asian powerhouse was also a top source of approved foreign investments, ranking 2nd in 2019 with RMB11.9B (US$1.7B) worth of investment pledges and ranking first in 2018 with RMB6.7B (US$963M). ♦

Date of Release: 8 September 2020